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Full text of "The Cambridge Natural History"

THE PRONG HORN                                30;

between those of the Deer and those of the Antelopes. They an
unquestionably " hollow-horned " Ruminants, in that there Is ai
osseous horn core,, upon which lies the actual horn. This, how
ev«r, is softer than In Bovidae, and Is seniieorneous. It- is, indeed
more like the velvet- of the stag's horn. Moreover the horn Ii
branched, and there »re sometimes even three prongs. Further
more, it is now certainly known that the Pronghorn sheds its
horns not merely occasionally, but with definite annual periodicity
Ife so far resembles the Deer. Hut it must be borne in mind thai
in the Ueer the liora shedding Is a twofold process. There is firsi
of all the stripping' off of the velvet, ami secondly the shedding
of it portion of the horn core down to the burr. "What happen:
In the Pron#l»uck is the shedding of the true horn only ( = the
shedding of the velvet), not of the horn core. It appears, how-
ever, that occasionally (once in their lifetime ?) certain undoubted
Antelopes may cast their horns.1 Another external character oi
this auxiiiaS is the total absence of " false hoofs," the last vestiges
of the second and fifth digits. The Pronghorn is a gregarious
creature running in bands of six up to hundreds.
Fam. 9. Bovidae.—This family, more extensive than that ol
the Cervidae, contains not only the Oxen,, Slieep^ and Goats, I>u1
also the Antelopes, save only ^4.ntiloccvpra, which must be placed
in a family by itself. The only two points which distinguish
all Bovidae from all Cervidae2 are the nature of the home
already described, and the polycotyledonary condition of the
placenta. Moreover the horns are usually present in both sexes,
though there are exceptions, such as the Sheep and Goats, and
various genera of Antelopes (JFragelajph»tu&> TetraceroB, etc.). There
are never the first two phalanges belonging to the rudimentary
digits II., "V., as there are in all Deer excepting Oervulus. There
is as a rule but one orifice to the lachrymal duct. There are
never persistent upper canine teeth, in either sex,
Ife is exceedingly difficult to separate the Antelopes from the
Sheep, Oxen, and Goats. Their inclusion along with these creatures
in one family, Bovidae, shows that no differences of an important
character exist. The term Antelope is rather of popular than
*  ** On tjbe Shedding; of the Horns ia tlie J*K>nglmcfc,** see Bartlett, JFVoc,
So*. 1805, p.  718 ; Ganfield, ibid. 1866, p,  1O6 ; Mjorie, *W0L  1870, p. SS4 ;
Forces, *M& 18&O, p. 54O.
a Tlie distiiMstion between, t-be two families *h®& beeoa. called ** fknciful."    it "
be admitted, that it is not great.